Monday, August 8, 2011
My Jane Austen Week Questions: Part 1
Of course, I want to be in on the fun too! I originally wanted to include all my questions in one post, but I think I'll split up my questions! So, here's part 1!
1. What is your favorite thing about Jane Austen? Why?
I think my favorite thing about Jane Austen is that her stories can relate so much to today. There are just spots in her books where I have to say "That's so true!" I also like how she puts a moral(s) into her stories that still (or at least should) apply today. Her characters are also seem so real! It's impossible to read about at least one character and not think about someone that you know. I don't think I've ever read novels that I have related to so much as hers.
What I also like about Jane Austen is that her books are full of substance. There are a lot of books (hey, even movies and TV shows now-a-days) that have all this really mushy language, but no substance (i.e. no morals, no message, etc.). With Jane Austen, she usually avoids a lot of the romantic language and can beat all those authors who rely on the mushy language. She also doesn't over-romanticize everything: those of her characters that you admire are ones that can use their common sense to get what needs to get done.
Okay, so that was more than one favorite thing, but there's just so much good for Jane Austen!
2. What are your top three favorite Jane Austen Novels and why?
Pride and Prejudice -- Pride and Prejudice is the novel that introduced me into the world of Jane Austen (Though I must add that I watched the 1995 miniseries before reading the book). I think it's my favorite because I can relate so much to Elizabeth. It's also humorous and provides great morals (First impressions aren't always accurate, parents need to raise and keep an eye on their children, etc.).
Sense and Sensibility -- Again, another book where I watched the movie first (I tend to do that a lot). What I like about Sense and Sensibility is that, contrary to a lot of other books out there, it shows the dangers of not controlling your emotions. What I've seen in recent popular books or movies is that emotions run wild and common sense is often disregarded and often this is glorified (which in school is what I got a load of). Sense and Sensibility is different from those books because common sense is what is prized; not to say that Jane Austen said that emotions are bad, but that emotions have to be rationally restrained with common sense.
Northanger Abbey -- I really enjoyed reading Northanger Abbey: it was funny and interesting. Catherine was a likable character and Henry Tilney was quite funny... a little odd sometimes, but funny. This is a book that deserves to have another adaptation made: the 2007 one was okay, but it had it's problems; I hadn't seen the 1980's version, but I heard that it was pretty bad.
3. Who are your top three favorite Jane Austen Heroines and why?
Elizabeth Bennet (Pride and Prejudice) -- Lizzy has to be my favorite because we are so much alike and I can easily relate to her. (I'll, of course, explain this in the very last question, but you'll have to wait). As Jane Austen said, "I must confess that I think her as delightful a character as ever appeared in print..." Lizzy is bright, intelligent, grounded in her opinions, and is funny.
Jennifer Ehle is my favorite Lizzy. The way she says her lines is like how I would picture Lizzy really saying them.
Elinor Dashwood (Sense and Sensibility) -- What I like about Elinor is that she goes through so much, but she's able to put aside all her troubles and help her mother and sisters. She doesn't let her emotions rule everything she does; she sees what needs to get done and she takes care of it.
I did also like Hattie Morahan's Elinor, but Emma Thompson's is probably my favorite. She portrayed Elinor as quiet, which I think works for her personality.
Catherine Morland (Northanger Abbey) -- Catherine is a very honest character. Yes, she can be a little naive at times, but you've got to admire her honesty.
Felicity Jones's Catherine is the only Catherine that I have seen. She acted very well as Catherine, but I think she could have been a little better (but maybe I'm saying this because I think the screenplay for Northanger Abbey could have been improved...)